gundog48
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I find myself getting involved in this debate very often, normally with regards to the whole NSA/MI5 revelations. My stance on the whole issue is quite hardcore freedom, which I understand most won't agree on, but when I talk to people, I get really disheartened and worried about the future. To quote one of my friends "I would gladly let Theresa May herself watch me take a piss if there's a chance it would help stop a terrorist".

I'm of the opinion that surveillance should be treated exactly the same as a house search. If there's enough evidence that somebody might be committing terrorism, they can get a warrant and do surveillance and searches, but blanket surveillance ought to be illegal, and is completely ineffective at combating terrorism.

I'd be interested in hearing some opinions on this and engaging in a bit of debate. Though I really hope that I'm not the only one who feels the way I do. The sad thing is, I see this trend worldwide, there's nowhere you can go to get away from it. I almost consider it a right of any person to go off the radar if they wanted, to just go off and live some mountain man life if they wanted to, without being on any lists and having everything they do catalogued and filed.
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Conservationofmass
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Personally I view security as more important. It's important for the safety of the population,so it's in their interest to keep them and their children safer.
It's the common trade off, do you want more liberty, or do you want more safety, cannot have more of one without less of the other.
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domonict
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It depends on what you mean by blanket.

Using technology to scan email,and phones for keywords that flag up targets is fair enough.
Then using warrant type authorisations to further investigate.
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gundog48
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(Original post by Conservationofmass)
Personally I view security as more important. It's important for the safety of the population,so it's in their interest to keep them and their children safer.
It's the common trade off, do you want more liberty, or do you want more safety, cannot have more of one without less of the other.
How far do you go though? Terrorism is a problem, granted, but such a minuscule one in the grand scheme that a line needs to be drawn. How far are we willing to give up our way of life to prevent it? I don't see any calls for the banning or heavier regulation on cars despite killing almost 2,000 people a year, or a blanket ban on smoking, drinking or eating unhealthily, which all kill far more people than all terrorist activity in the UK ever has.

I'd argue that the surveillance state is a much larger risk to our culture than terrorism. I'm certainly more worried about spying than being blown up. How much dirt must security services have over our politicians, and what kind of leverage can that give them? Not to mention that data on our own people is sent off to the Americans. That's just not right, not unless you have a valid reason to spy on someone.
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Conservationofmass
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(Original post by gundog48)
How far do you go though? Terrorism is a problem, granted, but such a minuscule one in the grand scheme that a line needs to be drawn. How far are we willing to give up our way of life to prevent it? I don't see any calls for the banning or heavier regulation on cars despite killing almost 2,000 people a year, or a blanket ban on smoking, drinking or eating unhealthily, which all kill far more people than all terrorist activity in the UK ever has.

I'd argue that the surveillance state is a much larger risk to our culture than terrorism. I'm certainly more worried about spying than being blown up. How much dirt must security services have over our politicians, and what kind of leverage can that give them? Not to mention that data on our own people is sent off to the Americans. That's just not right, not unless you have a valid reason to spy on someone.
Well personally I'm pretty sure that everything we do isn't "spied on" but rather they look for specific words, and searched, probably an algorithm sort of thing, so I wouldn't worry a lot about that.
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gundog48
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(Original post by domonict)
It depends on what you mean by blanket.

Using technology to scan email,and phones for keywords that flag up targets is fair enough.
Then using warrant type authorisations to further investigate.
The problem with that kind of surveillance is that it only hurts the innocent. Any moron can take very basic steps to get around keyword searching and the like. Even simple encryption like the 2000 year old Caesar Cypher can be used to circumvent blanket surveillance, and modern encryption techniques are virtually uncrackable. Subscription to a VPN, or the use of proxies can also make you immune to blanket surveillance, which would keep you safe unless the security services go out of their way to keep an eye on you in particular.

For example, I can say:

Waihopai, INFOSEC, Information Security, Information Warfare, IW, IS, Priavacy, Information Terrorism, Terrorism Defensive Information, Defense Information Warfare, Offensive Information, Offensive Information Warfare, National Information Infrastructure, InfoSec, Reno, Compsec, Computer Terrorism, Firewalls, Secure Internet Connections, ISS, Passwords, DefCon V, Hackers, Encryption, Espionage, USDOJ, NSA, CIA, S/Key, SSL, FBI, Secert Service, USSS, Defcon, Military, White House, Undercover, NCCS, Mayfly, PGP, PEM, RSA, Perl-RSA, MSNBC, bet, AOL, AOL TOS, CIS, CBOT, AIMSX, STARLAN, 3B2, BITNET, COSMOS, DATTA, E911, FCIC, HTCIA, IACIS, UT/RUS, JANET, JICC, ReMOB, LEETAC, UTU, VNET, BRLO, BZ, CANSLO, CBNRC, CIDA, JAVA, Active X, Compsec 97, LLC, DERA, Mavricks, Meta-hackers, ^?, Steve Case, Tools, Telex, Military Intelligence, Scully, Flame, Infowar, Bubba, Freeh, Archives, Sundevil, jack, Investigation, ISACA, NCSA, spook words, Verisign, Secure, ASIO, Lebed, ICE, NRO, Lexis-Nexis, NSCT, SCIF, FLiR, Lacrosse, Flashbangs, HRT, DIA, USCOI, CID, BOP, FINCEN, FLETC, NIJ, ACC, AFSPC, BMDO, NAVWAN, NRL, RL, NAVWCWPNS, NSWC, USAFA, AHPCRC, ARPA, LABLINK, USACIL, USCG, NRC, ~, CDC, DOE, FMS, HPCC, NTIS, SEL, USCODE, CISE, SIRC, CIM, ISN, DJC, SGC, UNCPCJ, CFC, DREO, CDA, DRA, SHAPE, SACLANT, BECCA, DCJFTF, HALO, HAHO, FKS, 868, GCHQ, DITSA, SORT, AMEMB, NSG, HIC, EDI, SAS, SBS, UDT, GOE, DOE, GEO, Masuda, Forte, AT, GIGN, Exon Shell, CQB, CONUS, CTU, RCMP, GRU, SASR, GSG-9, 22nd SAS, GEOS, EADA, BBE, STEP, Echelon, Dictionary, MD2, MD4, MDA, MYK, 747,777, 767, MI5, 737, MI6, 757, Kh-11, Shayet-13, SADMS, Spetznaz, Recce, 707, CIO, NOCS, Halcon, Duress, RAID, Psyops, grom, D-11, SERT, VIP, ARC, S.E.T. Team, MP5k, DREC, DEVGRP, DF, DSD, FDM, GRU, LRTS, SIGDEV, NACSI, PSAC, PTT, RFI, SIGDASYS, TDM. SUKLO, SUSLO, TELINT, TEXTA. ELF, LF, MF, VHF, UHF, SHF, SASP, ****, Colonel, domestic disruption, smuggle, 15kg, nitrate, Pretoria, M-14, enigma, Bletchley Park, Clandestine, nkvd, argus, afsatcom, CQB, NVD, Counter Terrorism Security, Rapid Reaction, Corporate Security, Police, sniper, PPS, ASIS, ASLET, TSCM, Security Consulting, High Security, Security Evaluation, Electronic Surveillance, MI-17, Counterterrorism, spies, eavesdropping, debugging, interception, COCOT, rhost, rhosts, SETA, Amherst, Broadside, Capricorn, Gamma, Gorizont, Guppy, Ionosphere, Mole, Keyhole, Kilderkin, Artichoke, Badger, Cornflower, Daisy, Egret, Iris, Hollyhock, Jasmine, Juile, Vinnell, B.D.M.,Sphinx, Stephanie, Reflection, Spoke, Talent, Trump, FX, FXR, IMF, POCSAG, Covert Video, Intiso, r00t, lock picking, Beyond Hope, csystems, passwd, 2600 Magazine, Competitor, EO, Chan, Alouette,executive, Event Security, Mace, Cap-Stun, stakeout, ninja, ASIS, ISA, EOD, Oscor, Merlin, NTT, SL-1, Rolm, TIE, Tie-fighter, PBX, SLI, NTT, MSCJ, MIT, 69, RIT, Time, MSEE, Cable & Wireless, CSE, Embassy, ETA, Porno, Fax, finks, Fax encryption, white noise, pink noise, CRA, M.P.R.I., top secret, Mossberg, 50BMG, Macintosh Security, Macintosh Internet Security, Macintosh Firewalls, Unix Security, VIP Protection, SIG, sweep, Medco, TRD, TDR, sweeping, TELINT, Audiotel, Harvard, 1080H, SWS, Asset, Satellite imagery, force, Cypherpunks, Coderpunks, TRW, remailers, replay, redheads, RX-7, explicit, FLAME, Pornstars, AVN, Playboy, Anonymous, Sex, chaining, codes, Nuclear, 20, subversives, SLIP, toad, fish, data havens, unix, c, a, b, d, the, Elvis, quiche, DES, 1*, NATIA, NATOA, sneakers, counterintelligence, industrial espionage, PI, TSCI, industrial intelligence, H.N.P., Juiliett Class Submarine, Locks, loch, Ingram Mac-10, sigvoice, ssa, E.O.D., SEMTEX, penrep, racal, OTP, OSS, Blowpipe, CCS, GSA, Kilo Class, squib, primacord, RSP, Becker, Nerd, fangs, Austin, Comirex, GPMG, Speakeasy, humint, GEODSS, SORO, M5, ANC, zone, SBI, DSS, S.A.I.C., Minox, Keyhole, SAR, Rand Corporation, Wackenhutt, EO, Wackendude, mol, Hillal, GGL, CTU, botux, Virii, CCC, Blacklisted 411, Internet Underground, XS4ALL, Retinal Fetish, Fetish, Yobie, CTP, CATO, Phon-e, Chicago Posse, l0ck, spook keywords, PLA, TDYC, W3, CUD, CdC, Weekly World News, Zen, World Domination, Dead, GRU, M72750, Salsa, 7, Blowfish, Gorelick, Glock, Ft. Meade, press-release, Indigo, wire transfer, e-cash, Bubba the Love Sponge, Digicash, zip, SWAT, Ortega, PPP, crypto-anarchy, AT&T, SGI, SUN, MCI, Blacknet, Middleman, KLM, Blackbird, plutonium, Texas, jihad, SDI, Uzi, Fort Meade, supercomputer, bullion, 3, Blackmednet, Propaganda, ABC, Satellite phones, Planet-1, cryptanalysis, nuclear, FBI, Panama, fissionable, Sears Tower, NORAD, Delta Force, SEAL, virtual, Dolch, secure shell, screws, Black-Ops, Area51, SABC, basement, data-haven, black-bag, TEMPSET, Goodwin, rebels, ID, MD5, IDEA, garbage, market, beef, Stego, unclassified, utopia, orthodox, Alica, SHA, Global, gorilla, Bob, Pseudonyms, MITM, Gray Data, VLSI, mega, Leitrim, Yakima, Sugar Grove, Cowboy, Gist, 8182, Gatt, Platform, 1911, Geraldton, UKUSA, veggie, 3848, Morwenstow, Consul, Oratory, Pine Gap, Menwith, Mantis, DSD, BVD, 1984, Flintlock, cybercash, government, hate, speedbump, illuminati, president, freedom, cocaine, $, Roswell, ESN, COS, E.T., credit card, b9, fraud, assasinate, virus, anarchy, rogue, mailbomb, 888, Chelsea, 1997, Whitewater, MOD, York, plutonium, William Gates, clone, BATF, SGDN, Nike, Atlas, Delta, TWA, Kiwi, PGP 2.6.2., PGP 5.0i, PGP 5.1, siliconpimp, Lynch, 414, Face, Pixar, IRIDF, eternity server, Skytel, Yukon, Templeton, LUK, Cohiba, Soros, Standford, niche, 51, H&K, USP, ^, sardine, bank, EUB, USP, PCS, NRO, Red Cell, Glock 26, snuffle, Patel, package, ISI, INR, INS, IRS, GRU, RUOP, GSS, NSP, SRI, Ronco, Armani, BOSS, Chobetsu, FBIS, BND, SISDE, FSB, BfV, IB, froglegs, JITEM, SADF, advise, TUSA, HoHoCon, SISMI, FIS, MSW, Spyderco, UOP, SSCI, NIMA, MOIS, SVR, SIN, advisors, SAP, OAU, PFS, Aladdin, chameleon man, Hutsul, CESID, Bess, rail gun, Peering, 17, 312, NB, CBM, CTP, Sardine, SBIRS, SGDN, ADIU, DEADBEEF, IDP, IDF, Halibut, SONANGOL, Flu, &, Loin, PGP 5.53, EG&G, AIEWS, AMW, WORM, MP5K-SD, 1071, WINGS, cdi, DynCorp, UXO, Ti, THAAD, package, chosen, PRIME, SURVIAC

Which hits tons of keywords, but that can't be tracked back to me unless they go to considerable effort. Or I could say:

SPT8i7T6rSeFhk+YAwmPeQ==

And nobody would have a clue apart from my best terrorist bud!

But yet we still use blanket surveillance. And the Snowden leaks have shown that NSA employees misuse these tools casually for spying on their partners, or potential partners. It seems to me that this kind of stuff is ineffective at stopping real terrorism, but a great way of infringing the privacy of law-abiding people.
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gundog48
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(Original post by Conservationofmass)
Well personally I'm pretty sure that everything we do isn't "spied on" but rather they look for specific words, and searched, probably an algorithm sort of thing, so I wouldn't worry a lot about that.
Data on all citizens is stored for a certain amount of time, and can be spied on in real time. As I mentioned in the other comment, casual misuse is rampant in the NSA with employees spying on their love interests, that was just accepted there.

There's also the question of data security to take into account. The things that are stored include very personal information, contact details and bank details. Some of this data is worked on by contractors. One person leaked a ton of data. These things can and have been hacked in the past, and we know how good our guys are at leaving memory sticks on trains. Even if this government can be trusted with this data, can the next one? And more importantly, can they keep it secure from those who could misuse it?
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Bustamove
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Freedom, I'd definitely prefer freedom over security...
As Benjamin Franklin once said "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither"
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RF_PineMarten
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Freedom.

Surveillance is fine if you have reason to believe someone is involved in crime or terrorism. Blanket surveillance just seems totally wrong to me.

And "if you've got nothing to hide you've got nothing to fear" argument is one of the few arguments I disagree with enough to find it rage inducing.
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jape
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Liberty and Freedom. Always. On every issue.

Right to bear arms? Anti-gun laws aren't going to stop people who want to do illegal things using guns. It restricts only innocents from defending themselves.

Weed? I'm a perfectly rational individual who ought to be able to do what I want with my own body. The laws at present encourage black marketeering and cause more death than can be justified.

GCHQ Spying? The whole idea of ISIS is to erode our way of life. Britain has a history steeped in traditions of Liberty and Freedom, contrary values to ISIS'.


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jape
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(Original post by RFowler)
Freedom.

Surveillance is fine if you have reason to believe someone is involved in crime or terrorism. Blanket surveillance just seems totally wrong to me.

And "if you've got nothing to hide you've got nothing to fear" argument is one of the few arguments I disagree with enough to find it rage inducing.
If you've nothing to hide, give me all your passwords, your bank statements, personal diaries, travel records, expenses statements and so on. Soon shuts people up. Privacy is a basic human right.


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Mr JB
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(Original post by gundog48)
Terrorism is a problem.....
....because of the actions of governments in multiple areas made it one. The world would be a much safer place if governments didn't exist. Most people can look after themselves. The governments are the ones who cause all of the problems and then when those elsewhere do the same or threaten the same, they tell us they need to do something to keep us more secure. Again, its all about control.

The government has put the people of the UK at more risk than ever, through both its foreign policies and domestic policies. I personally think governments, along with the elites they serve and share vested interests, are our biggest enemy.
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KvasirVanir
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Freedom. If there's a specified reason to be spying on a person then that is ok because that is like a house search or a stop and search on the street. But blanket surveillance in the form of scanning emails for keywords is unacceptable.
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Pulse.
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How does government surveillance impede you from doing what you want to do?

I'm going to go with security, though I don't think they are irreconcilable to start with.

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KvasirVanir
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The problem I've had with it has never been that it impedes me from doing anything, it doesn't. But they shouldn't be doing it because I don't think it's healthy in a democracy for the government to be able to monitor us all. What if we wanted to rebel and we weren't able to plan in secret, or what if something that most of us do became a crime and they used our internet records to round up people doing it? That's not right, people can't be trusted with that power. When we talk about privacy it doesn't just mean privacy from ordinary people it means privacy from the authorities as well. Which is why encryption with government backdoors may as well be no encryption at all (as well as not working on a technical level because a government backdoor would be used by criminals too)
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gundog48
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(Original post by Mr JB)
....because of the actions of governments in multiple areas made it one. The world would be a much safer place if governments didn't exist. Most people can look after themselves. The governments are the ones who cause all of the problems and then when those elsewhere do the same or threaten the same, they tell us they need to do something to keep us more secure. Again, its all about control.

The government has put the people of the UK at more risk than ever, through both its foreign policies and domestic policies. I personally think governments, along with the elites they serve and share vested interests, are our biggest enemy.
I think they're far more a threat than anything on the outside, but definitely not an enemy. I'm all for limited government power, but with the number of people alive today we have built ourselves such a complex society, country and world. Completely interconnected and massive in scale. If I had it my way, I'd live in a village, completely autonomous, without need of governance and able to trade freely with other villages. But that's not the world we live in, and with the scale and complexity of society, I think governance is definitely required, even if for no other reason than the support of others. In small communities, people don't tend to let others struggle, if they are starving, they will provide food, if they loose their home, they will be offered shelter, but this isn't the case in huge population centres, and you can get whole areas that are in poverty. Social programmes are required I think.

But yeah, most of the problems in the middle east which have led to terrorism have been caused by Western intervention and general messing around. Rather than saying that the government did it and should therefore never do anything again, I'd rather we prevent the government from making the same mistake again. Though that would imply that public opinion makes a difference!
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Redwoods
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I'm all for security. If people are going to vote to import these terrorists then I will at least vote for better security that's if we can't shut the gates and start deportations. We could have had both but you all messed that up.
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mojojojo101
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This is a false question. Your Freedom assures your security.



When you let the government trawl through your e-mails, phone calls, financial records and other personal information you are not free. All you are doing is hedging that the oppression from the State is less bad than the oppressor that the State 'protects' you from.

There are a few things wrong here;
-Firstly, oppressors should be taken down wherever they are found, the severity of oppression is an argument in semantics.
-Secondly, the only people telling you that the 'bad guys' are dangerous, is the State, who we have already established, is an oppressive influence.
-Likewise thirdly, the only people who provide an evidence that this lesser oppression is working, are those with a vested interest in maintaining it.
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driftawaay
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I dont understand why anybody cares whether Theresa May is watching your internet or not. Do you watch kiddy porn? Do you order your heroin online? What is it you do that you dont want the government to know you are doing?
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driftawaay
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(Original post by KvasirVanir)
The problem I've had with it has never been that it impedes me from doing anything, it doesn't. But they shouldn't be doing it because I don't think it's healthy in a democracy for the government to be able to monitor us all. What if we wanted to rebel and we weren't able to plan in secret, or what if something that most of us do became a crime and they used our internet records to round up people doing it? That's not right, people can't be trusted with that power. When we talk about privacy it doesn't just mean privacy from ordinary people it means privacy from the authorities as well. Which is why encryption with government backdoors may as well be no encryption at all (as well as not working on a technical level because a government backdoor would be used by criminals too)
It would be a crime from that point on.... no one would be round up for anything.
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